The 2013 Summer Program

The 2013 Summer Program

The Infrastructural City

Los Angeles. What can one say about the city that for over one hundred and sixty years has stood as the symbol of the modern American city—a planned metropolis interconnected by an infrastructure of freeways, power grids and aqueducts. “If the West was dominated by the theology of infrastructure, Los Angeles was its Rome. Cobbled together out of swamp, floodplain, desert and mountains, short of water and painfully dependent on far-away resources to survive, Los Angeles is sited on inhospitable terrain. No city should be here. Los Angeles exists by grace of infrastructure, a life-support system that has transformed this wasteland into the second largest metropolis in the country.” (Varnelis, 2008; Worldwatch Institute, World Watch, April 2008)

At SWA, we recognize that cities are a work in progress and we embrace the multi-dimensionality of infrastructure and the opportunities that may result through fresh and innovative thinking in landscape architecture, planning and urban design.